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What kinds of FPGA does LabVIEW support?


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Hi, recently I`ve been thinking about buying a FPGA starter kit to use with LV, but I cant find the list of FPGA boards that LV supports.

I`ve been thinking about Spartan 3 200K, because it`s fairly cheap and easy to get in Poland.

Can you recommend any other FPGA boards that LV FPGA driver supports? The price that I`m willing to pay is ~200 $.

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I have never heard of being able to use a FPGA board with LabVIEW, that wasn't a NI FPGA hardware solution. I'm not saying you can't use a different board I've just never heard of anyone doing that.

If you must use NI hardware (which I suspect is the case) the cheapest PCI model is going to run you $1500 just for the card, which is a DIO only card at 40MHz and 1M gates.


That's not including the cables or terminal blocks.

One other possible option is develop in LabVIEW, then compile to VHDL, then burning that to your generic FPGA card. I've never done this and am unsure if it can be done. I assume at some point the compiled VHDL code is available but you will probably have a difficult time properly addressing hardware IO on a different FPGA.

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I think in the video he is probably referring to the academic top board at http://sine.ni.com/nips/cds/view/p/lang/en/nid/207010. The is no way to generate the VHDL for non NI targets from LabVIEW FPGA.

Tge top board may work for you. Have a look through the manual but I believe you could power and use it without the ELVIS. You can also target this using Xilinx ISE and by drawing digital schematics in Multisim (requires particular versions of ISE to script but it's pretty cool!

The next cheapest way onto the platform would be the single board RIO eval kit. It has recently dropped in price and included 180 days of FPGA and RT.

Hope this helps!

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Now I have managed to look at the video properly on my laptop it appears he is not referring to that board but a Xilinx board called the Spartan 3E XUP (Xilinx University Program). There is an old thread discussing this at http://lavag.org/topic/10838-spartan-3e-fpga-board/ but the long and short is that it is a board from Xilinx for academics and we have written a driver for it, but you have to agree to be using it for academic purposes.

The page describing this is at http://digital.ni.com/express.nsf/bycode/spartan3e and there is some training material for it available at http://zone.ni.com/devzone/cda/tut/p/id/6848 if you take the plunge!



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  • 3 months later...

I should really check these boards more often: yes, NI releases support for our internal Digital Electronics FPGA board (which can dock to an ELVIS II or be used separately) as well as the Spartan 3E XUP (500K version) board, however support for that board, as James noted, is limited to academic use only.

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  • 5 months later...

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